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-Cal State Universities: Christian Student Group Back on Campus

by Dr. D ~ June 24th, 2015


A Christian Student group is now allowed back on the campuses of the large California Sate University system. Last year InterVarsity was kicked off the 23 campuses because the student ministry allowed only mature Christians as group leaders. However, the Cal-State University system requires all student groups to be open to all comers for members and for leaders also. From Christianity Today:

In a press release today announcing victory in its biggest campus access challenge to date, InterVarsity noted that its 23 chapters on 19 CSU campuses will "once again be recognized student groups."

“Following substantive and cordial ongoing conversations, CSU clarified the intent and reach of Executive Order 1068,” said InterVarsity president Jim Lundgren in the release. “We are confident we can choose leaders who are qualified to lead InterVarsity’s witnessing communities throughout the Cal State system.“ He continued:

InterVarsity’s Christian faith compels us to welcome all people. We support CSU in its commitment to serve the diversity of students on its campuses. In fact, InterVarsity communities are some of the most diverse groups on Cal State’s campuses. At the same time, we maintain our commitment to provide campus communities that are clearly Christian, where all students can experience and learn more about Christian community, theology, and practice. We’re grateful for this development and are looking forward to continued ministry on CSU campuses.

Despite the good news, InterVarsity—which has 985 chapters on 649 campuses—noted that it "continues to face challenges" to campus access at other schools in California, as well as New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, and Florida.

<Read the whole article>

Response: I really wonder how this will all play out. Hopefully this will pave the way for compromise resolutions all across the country and make it possible for Christian student groups to stay on campuses everywhere.

Logically this should not have been a problem in the first place. It makes absolutely no sense that a Christian student group should be required to make leadership positions open for all comers, even possibly for atheists and maybe even people who might like to embarrass Christians on campus and elsewhere. InterVarsity leaders seem confident that they will be able to choose good leaders and still abide by the University system rules. The University authorities also seem to accept the procedure that InterVarsity will now use for choosing their leaders.

I am not as nearly as confident as Intervarsity is that this will ultimately work. I still maintain that there is a bias against Christianity and conservatives in general on college campuses and among academic administrators all across America. I have noticed that not one Muslim student group has ever been kicked off any campus. And I doubt under the current American academic environment that it would ever happen regardless of their membership and leadership practices.            *Top

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3 Responses to -Cal State Universities: Christian Student Group Back on Campus

  1. Brian

    This story has an elephant lurking in it — unmentioned, unacknowledged by the key participants, but nevertheless there.

    If a university enforces a rule that all organizations on campus have to be open to all comers, and all leadership posts, likewise, must be open to all, the campus chess club is little threatened. There exists no body of “anti-chess” students who are likely to exploit the free admissions rule.

    On many campuses, however, there are bodies of students who are hostile to the views of campus Christian organizations. These students would typically be a coalition of LGBT activists, atheists, abortion-rights activists, and others who oppose the conservative social position typically advanced by these Christian organizations (plus some who just plain oppose Christianity). The prospect of a hostile take-over is a very real possibility. Imagine that, on the scheduled date for elections of new officers for the Campus Christian Club, 40 members show up – but so do 60 others, who all insist on joining today, and who then out-vote the 40 members, and elect a slate of officers who are hostile to the goals and interests of the organization.

    The US Supreme Court once ruled that the “power to tax is the power to destroy.” I submit that the power to join is also the power to destroy. Once the organization has been taken over, there is nothing to stop the new majority from voting to spend its funds on activities contrary to its (former) mission, or of operating the organization as “black propaganda” (i.e. outwardly purporting to be Christian, but deliberately taking pubic actions/making statements designed to embarrass or denigrate Christians).


  2. Dr. D

    Brian, you have clearly identified my greatest fear in this situation.

  3. -Christian Pro-Traditional Marriage Student Group to be Banned? | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] Christian student groups all across the country have already been in trouble in the last several yea…. Many have been kicked off campus because their group qualifications for leadership positions require one to be an ‘actual Christian’ and therefore they have been found to be ‘discriminatory’ against non-believers, Muslims, or atheists. […]

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